SARASOTA, Fla. – Chris Robinson is trying to make the most of his time in Orioles camp. He’ll leave the team early next month to join the Canadian team in the World Baseball Classic.
While Miguel Gonzalez and Luis Ayala grappled with whether to play for Mexico’s team, Robinson agreed to go.
“It is a difficult decision,” Robinson said. “Any chance I get to be here in camp is going to be crucial.”
The 28-year-old Robinson, who is from Ontario, has played with the Canadian National team for a decade and played in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
“I felt not obligated to do it, but it’s something I’d like to do,” Robinson said. “You do need to be here in camp, and hopefully in the time I’m here, I’m hoping to make a good impression.
For the last four seasons, Robinson has played in Triple-A. Last year was his first in the Orioles organization after playing in the Tigers and Cubs chains.
He doesn’t know how long he’ll be away, but he’ll savor the time with his WBC teammates including Minnesota’s Justin Morneau, Pittsburgh’s Russell Martin and Toronto’s Brett Lawrie.
“We’re trying to work against the stigma of only being hockey players, he jokes.
Robinson grew up playing hockey and is an ardent Toronto Maple Leafs fan.
“I was the Canadian kid playing hockey to stay in shape for baseball,” Robinson said.
NOTES: RHP Rafael Moreno (Brazil) and OF Timothy Smith (Canada) have been added to their country's resorts.